The Government of Victoria in Australia has selected a consortium of Lendlease, Coleman Rail and SMEC to build the A$518m ($393m) Ballarat Line Upgrade through a competitive evaluation process.
The upgrade project is set to include the duplication of 8km of track between Deer Park West and Melton, which will enable the electrification of the line to Melton.
Several other initiatives have also been outlined in the development plans, including the construction of extra passing loops, new train stabling, station refurbishment and increased car parking space.
The project will also see the relocation of stabling at Bacchus Marsh station to Maddingley, away from the local population.
Victoria Minister for Public Transport Jaala Pulford said: “The Regional Rail Revival starts right here; upgrading tracks, stations and services for regional passengers.
“We’re delivering more frequent and reliable services for growing communities between Melbourne and Ballarat, and creating hundreds of local jobs.”
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The project is estimated to create up to 400 jobs during the construction phase, and will increase the frequency of trains throughout Melbourne’s western region and along the Ballarat line, including trains every 40 minutes at off-peak times.
The Ballarat Line Upgrade represents the first project to be commissioned under the present government’s Regional Rail Revival programme.
More than 200 site investigations have been carried out since February as part of the initiative, including the digging of 90 boreholes in order to analyse the ground characteristics.
The government has also consulted different communities by holding meetings with councils and landowners, and has also conducted an online survey.
The contract is expected to be awarded later this year as the final proposal will now be developed, and construction is anticipated to begin early next year.
Image: The Government of Victoria selects Lendlease, Coleman Rail and SMEC to transform the Ballarat line. Photo: courtesy of Premier of Victoria.